drake general store giveaway

Exciting news! Today I have teamed up with Toronto’s own Drake General Store to offer a giveaway of $250 worth of some of my favourite items from their private label brands (which are Shared, Shared History, Held in Common, and Arborist). The Drake has long been one of my favourite shops to scout out unique gifts and treats, everything from emoji cookies to Tarot decks to vintage Canadiana postcards to playful Christmas tree ornaments. And, of course, ONESIES!

Update: December 13, 2013: This giveaway is now closed! The winner is Mariyah G. I have hidden the comments as some contained full email addresses. Thank you!

Geoff and I got grey onesies last year (sooooo sexy, you guys) and they are seriously hilarious.

One lucky winner will win the following:

Shared History soap in peppermint + mint leaves
Shared History adult onesie in red (in size of your choice)
Shared History kids’ onesie in red (in size of your choice)
Arborist Great Lakes touque
Shared History buffalo plaid pillow in green
Shared History knapsack in black

Be sure to sign up for the Drake General Store’s newsletter to receive updates on contests, new products + exclusive events.

To enter, please visit the Drake’s new webshop and let me know what your favourite item is in a comment below. Please be sure that I have a means of contacting you if you win! Also please note that I have comment moderation enabled to combat spam so your comment may take a few moments to appear.

This contest is open internationally, but please note that you are responsible for any duties and customs your country may charge. I will select one winner at random on Friday, December 13 and contact that person privately (the Drake will ship out your items).

Good luck!


repository pt. 11

A few things I’ve been meaning to share from here and there!

1. A new blog I’ve been enjoying lately is Quaintrelle, by Toronto publicist Ashley Bartlett. She started a series called The Portrait, and yours truly was the first subject. Thanks, Ashley!
2. I’ve shared a photo of our Christmas tree on Instagram, and received a few comments/questions about my narwhal ornament. I thought I had posted about them last year, but apparently I didn’t! I used this pattern from Grainline Studio (there’s actually a grey one and a white one on my tree but the white is a little camouflaged). Easy to make even without a sewing machine.
3. A little while ago Kelly from Design Crush designed a couple of calendars, Bloggers Love Cats and Bloggers Love Dogs, and asked a few of us to contribute to it. My Pony is in the calendar wearing a pineapple hat! All proceeds go the Humane Society of the United States, which is wonderful. You can purchase and download the calendars on Etsy.
4. A few of my favourite independent boutiques are now featured on the website Garmentory, where you can view and make offers on sale items from those shops. It’s a pretty neat concept, and I enjoyed this little Q&A with Summerland. The boutiques on Garmentory are pretty much the coolest ones.
5. I think that Sarah peeked inside my brain when she styled the Cursive Design fall/winter 2013 lookbook. Soft white fluff and a soft white kitty and the prettiest jewelry. 
6. I have recently become completely addicted to Mila Fragrance’s  bath oil in Chiara. There’s nothing like a warm bath when it’s cold, and this one smells sensuous and earthy and leaves my skin so soft. Love it.

A lovely gift that I received recently is a set of custom stamps from Sycamore Street Press, from the  Versailles Collection: a pretty monogram and a return address stamp (edited here, obviously!) which I plan to use on our holiday cards. As you can see, they are so beautiful and special. Thanks, Eva!


holiday info

Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends! This year, because we are so grateful for your support, we thought we would offer a rare promo code for both our shops, both our usual shop and Etsy shop, starting on November 29. Use the code BABYITSCOLD for 20% off your purchase.

Also, here are those pesky shipping dates. If you would like to give one of our totes or prints as a gift, please be sure to have your orders placed by the following dates (please note these are a guideline and we can’t guarantee holiday arrival absolutely; sometimes things get caught in customs, and we can’t do anything about it! But follow these guidelines and you should be safe):

Within Canada: December 16th
United States: December 9th
Australia/All International: December 2nd

Expedited shipping services are available, so contact us for details if you need a last resort.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a calendar this year, either a Dreamcats or any other... Geoff designed a really beautiful one and had a very specific type of printing in mind, but it fell through at the last minute. Hard way to learn about how things go, I guess. Here’s to bigger plans in 2014!


province apothecary

A few years ago I wandered into a shop on Dundas, Penny Arcade, and saw a line of skincare products for sale called Province Apothecary. It was organic and made in Toronto. Intrigued, I bought a facial serum and afterwards started seeing Province Apothecary for sale at many of the shops I love to visit, as well as at some of the local fleas. I was always too shy to approach the woman behind the line, Julie Clark, and say hello. Long story short, eventually I was invited to her studio (which happens to be a five minute walk away from my apartment), spent a very inspiring few hours chatting with her, and asked if I could come back for some photos to share her beautiful space with you. The next day she led a workshop on Herbal Infusions with Kinfolk; she keeps quite busy leading workshops at places such as Likely General (for news, be sure to like PA on Facebook).

Julie is a certified holistic health practitioner and aromatherapist, and her handcrafted line reflects her desire to use the purest raw materials. She offers various facial treatments in her studio, which, since she is an aromatherapist, smells amazing. I could smell lavender in my hair for the rest of the day.

Enjoy these shots! They speak for themselves, really.

Hi, Julie!

She hand-dyed these silk curtains and I think they’re amazing.

In these photos Julie was making me a custom serum which I have been enjoying. I looooove using oils instead of moisturizers, and feeling good about the ingredients in them.

Province also has a really lovely perfume line. I wore No. 7 all summer long.

Thanks, Julie!


baa baa black sheep

Update: I do not make these for sale. They were a very time-consuming labour of love only, and besides, it is not my original pattern. THE PATTERN IS HERE.

I posted these blankets in progress on Instagram and I thought I’d write a little bit about them here, because, well, I’m proud of them! My baby gift game just got a bit tighter. (Also hilarious to me that my last post was so sexy and this one is about baby things.)

This is basically a PSA for learning how to knit because right now I am really in love with it. I will always be thankful to Tara-Lynn for putting out those Good Night, Day patterns which encouraged me to teach myself after years of saying it just wasn’t for me. Of course, it can be so frustrating and I’ve probably taken more knitting apart than I’ve finished. But I still love the act of knitting, and I love the tactile pleasures of a super soft yarn. Plus when you’re doing a bunch of simple knit rows, you can read a book at the same time. I read The Goldfinch as I knit the pink blanket.

I haven’t knit things for people other than myself and Geoff, but I suspected that knitting for babies could be really enjoyable since everything is tiny and adorable. And what better way to honour and celebrate the arrival of a little baby than something made with care? We have a few sets of friends who have babies on the way, and while there are certainly no shortages of baby clothing and baby accessories available to buy, I was never very satisfied with the selection in my price range. Anything I made myself would be made under the most loving circumstances, and I could control the materials used (I know why so many baby items are made of polyester and acrylic, including most baby yarns, but... ugh). I found the source of the pattern for this blanket at the public library: the book Precious Knit Blankies for Baby by Jean Adel. The sheep blanket pattern intimidated me at first and it took me a few tries to get the hang of the intarsia, but it ended up being easier than I thought, and that seed stitch border is so sweet.

You can go your own way, little baby. I made the sheep out of roving wool but next time I might try using something with mohair for added fluff. 

This dusty pink one is for Megan of Summerland who happens to be expecting a girl, but dusty pink is just so perfect for Megan anyhow.

I didn’t like how the back looked, just a little too messy, and Hollie, who was making the same blanket, suggested that I line it. I used organic cotton jersey and it gave it an extra substance and softness. Good tip, Hollie, especially since these are both blankets for winter babies. Once I finished the pink one I went right into making the blue/grey one; I was really determined not to let them sit unfinished in a pile for too long.

Finished this one last night, and the little dude it’s for should be making his appearance any moment.


fortnight lingerie studio sale

Cool news, Toronto: this week, from November 22 to 23, local lingerie brand/treasure Fortnight Lingerie will be having its first ever sample sale! This is crazy exciting to me because as much as I love the new collection, the past collections are so beautiful. Also, it will be such a great opportunity to visit the studio, which you may remember from my visit, posted here.

Enjoy up to 50% off on all past collections for two days only: Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd of November. Visit our studio and see where Fortnight is designed/manufactured, get fitted and learn tips on what to look for when shopping for undergarments.
Fortnight Studio
1239 Queen Street West, Suite 202 

More details are available here.

I also wanted to share some shots from the newest lookbook, shot by Arden Wray of Boots & Pine and Foxfire Mountain House. They are stunning! I am so proud to know both Arden and Christina, who both inspire me so much, and thrilled to see these magical images that they made together. This collection will launch in January of 2014.

I also love this candid outtake that Arden posted on Tumblr.


one of a kind 2013 giveaway

Earlier this summer I spent a delightful day photographing and interviewing Falconwright for an email that went out from the One of a Kind Show (and we happened to shoot the lookbook while I was there—two birds, one stone! You can see the email here). Falconwright will be participating in the Christmas show which is coming up quite soon, and the good news is that I have a whole bunch of free passes to the show to give away: 10 lucky winners will each receive 2 tickets. Not bad! The show runs from November 28 to December 8.

UPDATE November 15, 2013: I have closed this entry and hidden the comments because some of them contained email addresses. I have contacted the winners, who were: Sarah, Andrea, The Vacant North, Natasha, Caitlyn, CherrySays, Tara, Reiko, Kristin, and Erin. Congrats!

There will be over 800 artisans showcasing their handcrafted goods this year, from all over North America. Here are a few that I am looking forward to visiting; this is a mere taste as there are so very many.

Again, 10 winners will receive 2 passes. To enter, please leave a comment below and please be sure that I have a means of contacting you if you win. You will get an extra entry if you follow OOAK on Twitter, on Instagram, and/or like OOAK on Facebook. Just leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so. This giveaway is open to all, but of course, you’ll have to be in Toronto as the show takes place at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. I will select 10 winners on Friday, November 15. Good luck!


raise your hand if you're sure

(With apologies to the squeamish!)

I recently came across a post by Kris Carr rating a number of natural deodorants, and realized that I actually really love those sorts of posts—so I thought I would do one of my own. It was also a good kick in the pants for me to go back to using an aluminum-free deodorant; I had tried a few and hadn’t had the best luck with them, so I had to try again. Trying to find one that works well can be difficult and costly, but here is my experience with the experiment. Feel free to tell me about products you like!

I tested five deodorants, some of which I already had on hand in the back of a drawer: Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus (I got mine for around $20 from Jacob & Sebastian), Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting (unscented; I got this in a three pack from Costco ages ago), Lush Aromaco (sold by weight; mine was about $8), Nourish Organic Clean & Fresh (fig; Whole Foods, $10), and Fat and the Moon cream (I got mine at Likely General for $18).

A few notes: I don’t have sensitive skin, and I tested each one by using it during a workout and also while going about my daily routines of bike riding to work, etc. When I was selecting my deodorants, I didn’t look for products that were as natural as possible, but merely aluminum-free. I did look these up in the EWG Skin Deep database and most were rated as low hazard, except the Lush which was moderate (because of fragrance and citral, which are irritants), and the Fat and the Moon, which was not in the database. Also, it’s not summer here, so I might have to revisit this when it’s the time of year when one is constantly, constantly in a cloud of sweaty humidity.

Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting, unscented
Pros: Readily available in most drug stores (I mean, I got mine at Costco of all places), unscented, invisible.
Cons: Very sticky, needs to be re-applied throughout the day. Doesn’t block sweat at all (which, of course, deodorant isn’t supposed to do, but since some of these do, it’s worth noting). Tom’s is partially owned by Colgate-Palmolive, which might be a concern for some.
Final word: Convenient, not bad if you carry it with you and don’t mind re-applying. But not the most effective. My rating: 2/5.

Nourish Organic Fresh & Dry, fig
Pros: Organic ingredients, invisible. Cute package!
Cons: Ineffective, extremely sticky, and even though I love fig scents, this one was a bit sickly and drove me crazy. I didn’t even want to try re-applying.
Final word: Nope. There are better products out there, although I should have known to try the lavender or unscented varieties! My rating: 1/5.

Fat and the Moon Deodorant Cream
Pros: Works quite well, blocks sweat, invisible, a little goes a long way and this jar will last a while. Good company, handmade. Cute packaging. Mostly unscented. This one passed the polyester shirt test the time I wore a chiffon blouse!
Cons: Sometimes I get lazy about the application because I have to stick my finger in the jar, scrape some of the cream, melt it in my hands, rub my hands all over the pits of my arms (which are usually fresh from the shower when I apply this), and then have to go wash the cream off my hands. It’s not the worst process, but after years of stick application, it takes a little getting used to. Also while I found this to be a really effective product, there were a few days when I wore it when all I could smell was the black pepper in it, and that scent drove me bonkers; I was just really sensitive to it. At $18 it was one of the most expensive products.
Final word: This was actually one of my favourites, despite the application, because it works well and I like that it’s handmade. I don’t mind the cost because when I buy it I’m supporting a small company and a local store I love. My rating: 4/5.

Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus 
Cons: Works well, invisible. Geoff has been using it daily & enjoying it. Actually effective in blocking sweat.
Cons: Scent is a little medicinal, and the first time I tried it I found it a bit irritating. I gave it another chance and it didn’t turn my skin red this time, but I’m still a little wary. The most expensive product on this list. Large, heavy packaging (for a deodorant).
Final word: Effective, if you don’t mind the smell and the cost. My rating: 3.5/5.

Lush Aromaco
Pros: No excessive packaging, invisible, effective, and I love love the smell! It’s patchouli. A delicate, subtle patchouli that you might catch a whiff of throughout the day but that most people won’t smell on you. Blocks sweat!
Cons: You might HATE the smell. Not everyone loves patchouli. You can get this all over your hands depending on how you apply it (I store the bar it in an airtight bag and hold the bar in the bag through the opening when I apply it—the bag is a mess, but it works). To buy it you have to go into a Lush store and I always find that quite a, um, heady experience (unless you buy it online, of course).
Final word: This one was a late contender, because I rarely go into Lush stores, but I happened to be going past and this one caught my eye. It actually is my favourite of all the products here, even though I know that most people would not like it! It’s the one I reach for most mornings. My rating: 5/5.